DMI Blog

Maureen Lane

The Policy Tree

In the last few weeks the news has been stunning. We have domestic policies that supoport an economy that is widening the income gap. The economy has some major sectors with record profits and rising generous upper managemnt salaries. While young workers, even with collge degress, are faring poorly and skilled and unskilled workers of all ages without college degrees have salaries declining.

Tamar Draut sees the bigger picture in her piece this week in Tom Paine. Americans are saving less because they are spending more for housing, gas and other essentials. Young people strapped by college loans are not seeing the salaries they need. People without college degrees are not doing well and the policy decisions made by current administrations on the state, federal and local levels are a huge part of the problem. We all need to ask who is benefiting from policies as they are?

We need policy makers to see us all as part of a family tree. All our branches and leaves are connected to each other. For example, public school education is connected to success for the individual and society. Achievement in public school is connected to the amount of time parents are available to work with their children at home. Parents required to work long hours at low pay, parents required to juggle welfare regulations that do not allow families to move to economic self-support are burdened by poor policies. Budgets that decrease the availability of low cost childcare instead of increasing the slots available to working parents are the result of poor planning and prioritizing by policy makers. Policies that do not invest sufficient resources in education all along the continuum are part of the problem and stand in the way of creative solutions.

Free market economies can and do survive with regulations, labor laws and policy priorities that sustain individuals and families. Economics is a social science and it's underpinning imperative is to help sustain and support people. Let's talk policy that grows an economy to do just that.

Maureen Lane: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 7:56 AM, Sep 08, 2006 in Economic Opportunity | Economy | Education | Welfare | Youth | public services
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